Off target;Jotter

8th May 1998 at 01:00
We hope the following extract from HMI guidance to education authorities on the targets makes the position perfectly clear: "In a number of cases figures in the benchmarking data may not seem to be fully consistent. For example, the starting level may not appear to be the exact average of the years' attainment 1995-97 shown elsewhere or the increase sought may not correspond exactly to the difference between the starting level and the provisional target.

"All such cases are caused by the effects of rounding. Except for the targets for Standard grade English and mathematics (1-6), figures are shown to the nearest whole number percentages.

"For example, a school might have an exact starting level of 20.6 per cent and a target of 30.4 per cent, a difference of 9.8 per cent. Taken to the nearest percentage this would be shown as going from 21 per cent to 30 per cent, difference 10 per cent. In such cases the definitive figure should be taken as the value of the provisional target, in this case 30 per cent, not the 31 per cent that would be obtained by adding the increase sought, 10 per cent, to the starting level, 21 per cent" There must be a maths exam question in there somewhere.

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